Judge rejects plea deal for man who tried to open emergency door on Hawaiian Air flight 3 times

He will spend at least three more months behind bars for disrupting a Hawaiian Airlines flight in 2020 and injuring a flight attendant.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:06 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 7:01 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu man will spend at least three more months behind bars for disrupting a Hawaiian Airlines flight in 2020 and injuring a flight attendant.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Tuesday rejected the terms of a plea deal that would have allowed Alexander Price to go free after serving eight to nine months in prison.

Watson instead sentenced the 34-year-old Iolani School graduate to a year and a day in prison.

Aviation expert Peter Forman said violence on a plane can’t be tolerated.

“I think judges are going to really work to nip this type of thing in the bud. And, you know, it needs to happen because we’re seeing more of it,” he said.

Federal authorities alleged that Price tried to open the emergency doors three times on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 2020. He is charged with attacking and injuring the flight attendant who tried to stop him.

Passengers and crew members eventually subdued Price and zip-tied his hands and legs.

While it’s virtually impossible to open a plane’s emergency door during a flight, Watson said Price’s actions terrorized the passengers.

“It’s not really the act of trying to open the door that terrorizes people. It’s having to restrain this person, has having to stop this person and having to get into a potential altercation with this person,” said attorney Megan Kau.

His attorney, Victor Bakke, said he was disappointed that the judge rejected the terms of the plea deal. Price has no criminal record and has worked in the financial services industry ― and most recently worked as a driver for DoorDash.

But according to a presentencing report, Watson said the Price got into two fights with other inmates at the Federal Detention Center. He’s also accused of choking a nurse at Queen’s Medical Center.

“Any type of altercation during your pending sentencing is extremely serious, especially in federal court. Federal officers do a very good job of monitoring federal defendants pending sentencing and we hardly see any violations,” said Kau.

Price must surrender himself to authorities on Aug. 9.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.